With examinations approaching, keeping up with the school syllabus can be quite stressful. Maintaining lessons that are academic yet appealing to pupils is an especially challenging task for teachers in times like these.
For English teacher Law Poh Lin, Step Up, a 24-page English education pullout by The Star, has been a great help.
“Class is definitely livelier when we use Step Up. When I teach them using the model test papers in class, they feel bored. But when I use Step Up, my pupils like it very much,” said the teacher from SJK(C) Ketari, Bentong, Pahang.
“My pupils enjoy the word games and group activities found on the Fun Pages. Apart from that, it makes them read more as there are stories included.”
She also commended the ‘Mini dictionary’ feature. “The meanings of difficult words are readily available for them. Pupils do not need to take out the dictionary to look up the word.”
“I think this resource is very suitable as there are a variety of activities and exercises for pupils to do. It includes reading comprehension, grammar and discussions. They also learn idioms,” she added.
SJK(C) Ketari is one of the 28 schools in Pahang receiving the Step Up pullouts sponsored by Orando Holdings for this whole year. The pullout, with 17 issues per year, aims to help primary school pupils improve English proficiency as well as their UPSR results.
The pullout has two versions – one with Malay translation of English words, which comes out every Tuesday, and another with Chinese translation, which is published every Thursday.
Law said that the school is very thankful for the pullouts. “The sponsorship helps a lot! It’s quite difficult to find English exercises like these as we are not in an urban area like Kuala Lumpur,” she said.
SJK(C) Ketari Year Six pupil Christine Yong said that she enjoyed doing the exercises in the syllabus-based pullout. “Step Up is very useful. It helped me improve my marks for my English Language exam.”
Year Six pupil Alken Dean vouched that his grammar has greatly improved after using Step Up. “I enjoy writing essays and the ‘Mini dictionary’ section helps me learn many new words.”
He said that Step Up comes in handy for exam revisions. “We are sitting for the UPSR exam this year, so it lets us revise topics from Year Four. I can’t remember most of what we did because it was quite long ago.”
“The pullout also includes language games. I enjoy it when our teacher plays one of those games with the whole class. We have fun while improving our English,” he added.
Another Year Six pupil Jamami Edwards, said she uses the pullout for exam revisions. “I think it has helped me in English. I used to get C grades for my English tests but now I get Bs.”
“My favourite section is Story Time. I learn many new words from here thanks to the ‘Mini dictionary’ feature.”
She also added that they make use of Step Up in English society meetings because it has fun activities. “It encourages group work and cooperation. I’m thankful that we are getting the pullout.”
Pupils of SJK(C) Ketari showed their gratitude by creating thank-you cards for sponsoring company Orando Holdings.
Orando Holdings managing director Datuk Dr Eng Wei Chun was elated when he received the cards. “I never expected this. I’m surprised and touched that the pupils made appreciation cards for us. It makes me very happy.”
He said that Malaysia is multicultural and blessed with many languages. “Students can choose to study in so many different types of schools – Tamil, Chinese, national or international schools. The academic levels here are recognised worldwide. This is an attractive feature of this country and its something we Malaysians are proud of.”
Dr Eng also emphasised on the importance of English proficiency. “To compete in the global arena, we need to know English, whether we like it or not. It is an international language. With English, the world is borderless – you can go anywhere.
“In order for Malaysia to move towards becoming a high-income country, we cannot ignore this language.”
He also added, “I am grateful to the teachers in this country. They play a very important role. I feel parents should show more respect to our teachers. Teachers nurture our children, and the children are our country’s future.”
Step Up is a 24-page bilingual, English language resource for teachers to teach English in classrooms. It is endorsed by the Education Ministry.
Subscription is through schools only. For more information about the pullout that comes free with a copy of The Star, contact The Star’s Customer Care Unit at 1 300 88 7827 from Monday to Friday (9am–5pm).